Re: Is whitebox can get reliable enough for production serve
I would start with 2 concerns.
1) Reliability. I have an tier 1 server and on Saturday night the MB dies. I get an email from the remote management card and 4 hours later the hardware vendor is on site with a replacement and 6 hours later we're back online.
With a whitebox I find out on Monday morning (maybe earlier
). I'm then off to the computer store to get replacement parts. Wait no RAID controller in stock, I'm down for an extra few days.
I describe a worst case scenario, but that's one reason I wouldn't go with a whitebox in production if I didn't have to.
2) Performance - it seems that your VM load with be CPU / network heavy and fairly low on disk. I wouldn't use the realtek NIC and would add some NIC redundancy if I could. Not that it would be common, but I wouldn't put lots of memory in a desktop MB and expect great performance. I.e. 64 GB or higher.
3) RAID - I would go hardware RAID with battery backed cache. Battery backed cache will make a huge performance difference. I'd also look at something off the HCL and relatively new if you plan to upgrade to ESXi 5.x and eventually 6.
4) VT-x - you'll need that for 64 bit VMs. I'd be surprised if it didn't support it (and more importantly you'll want to check that the CPU supports the feature. I would get a CPU without. You might get away with 32 bit VMs today, but it'll be harder and harder down the road.